Spotting the Fake – How to Spot the bad SEO Companies

According to Scott Alexander, “All good’s hard. All evil’s easy. Dying, losing, cheating, & mediocrity are easy. Stay away from easy.” That is the key phrase you have to keep in mind when choosing SEO companies you may want to hire – evil is easy. So if you think that this company is too good to be true, think again. You will lose money if you make yourself a fool by believing in them.

You cannot erase the fact that there are SEO frauds. These companies promise immediate and impossible results. Here is a systematic guide to help you identify the bad apple from the good ones.

1.SEO Formula

There is no SEO Companiesstandard formula in SEO. The market is fluctuating day by day so you cannot create a concrete method to increase your ranking on the net. To succeed in SEO, you need hard work and persistence to get to the top. If you have found SEO companies that say something about a secret formula, turn them down immediately.

2.Algorithm Specialist

As it was said in the first point, the market is unstable. You cannot predict what would be “in” for the next couple of months. You do not know if white hat can still be an effective strategy for marketing. This means, there is no pattern in SEO. Everything changes every now and then so you just have to go with the flow. Observe the changes and move with it.

3.Insignificant Connections

If SEO companies brag about having connections in Yahoo and he or she says that they can help with increasing your ranking, well, it is not true. People who work in these companies – Google, Yahoo, and Bing, do not know what is happening to the search engine rankings. Only the computers know how to index the pages and rank them accordingly.

4.Too Many Search Engines

Primarily, submitting your site to a million search engines would not guarantee better visibility so you do not have to be lured with this offer. Three to four search engines will do.

5.Rank to the Top

Some SEO firms give assurance that your company will immediately be on the number one spot. This is definitely impossible. SEO is a complex job and nobody can determine its behavior. Even the richest businesses that hire the best SEO companies are not certain about their position in the search engine results page.

6.Free Services

One tactic in attracting your attention is by giving freebies. SEO is hard so people who work on it should be given enough credit on their job. Online marketing needs a lot of time and effort to gain results. This would even take months of designing and redesigning.

Once you have detected that a specific company is deceiving you, do not hesitate to reject their offer. They may present the best package in the market but all they need is access to your personal information. Do not let these people fool you.

Be cautious because hiring SEO companies should bring your company up not drag it down.

Black Hat SEO: Are You Guilty?

Is there really black hat SEO? The term is applied to the use of unethical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to obtain higher rankings in the search engine results page (SERP). Another term used in place of black hat SEO is spamdexing. There is ongoing debate as to the existence of black-hatters. Supporters of black hat SEO techniques claim that ethics does not come to play in SEO practice since any manner of optimization made on website content is carried out with a deliberate intention to manipulate SERPs.

Black hatters’ Stand

The case in support of black hat seounqualified use of any techniques to improve SERP rankings is that commercial websites do Internet marketing to make money. To achieve their money-making goal, they strive to rank better than their competitors within search engines. To this end, black hatters claim that it is up to search engines to lay down the parameters for acceptable optimization. In other words, if these methods remain undetected by search engines, no ethical issues are touched. They embrace the Machiavellian maxim that the end, in fact, justifies the means.

Other black hatters argue that any optimization strategy that propels a site to rank higher than others outside of content quality is black hat SEO. Additionally, black hat SEO may also mean any changes rendered on a site solely for the purpose of SERP rankings but do not result in the enhancement of user experience of the site. Yet, who can blame the black hatters? While it is quite true that search engines set guidelines for acceptable use, these are deliberately vague and open itself to different interpretations. To illustrate, Yahoo bans web pages that offer poor user experience. Different people have different ideas of poor user experience.

Here is a partial list of what search engines consider as unacceptable SEO or spam:

  • Auto-generated content that serves no value to the user;
  • Buying or selling of links and link farming to artificially increase the number of links;
  • Cloaking and or delivering different pages depending on the IP address or agent requesting the page;
  • Doorway, gateway or jump pages designed as an entrance to a website where each one of these pages are optimized for different keywords but with no real content;
  • Duplicate Content;
  • Excessive cross linking sites to inflate the apparent popularity of your site;
  • Hiding of outbound links;
  • Misuse or cyber-squatting of competitor domain names or name typos;
  • Spamming fora and blogs;
  • Stuffing web content with keywords, anchor text, and domain name;
  • Too many outbound links to a website that use high risk techniques or spam;
  • Use of hidden texts or links, usually done by disguising in ALT tag of images.

Beware of the Consequences

Search engines may employ a wide range of penalties in response to the use of deceptive SEO techniques. It may seem unfair that search engines dictate site owners about what they can and what they cannot do. However, penalties are a “necessary evil” to ensure that the web does not teem of useless web pages and poor quality content. Well-meaning marketers will provide their target users with quality content and useful information.

Website owners should always be sensible about their decisions in marketing their product or service. They should also opt to resort only to ethical SEO practices. There are corresponding punishments for black hat SEO practices. Stay clear of black hat SEO or bear the brunt of the penalties.